More Coronavirus, but Less Fear?

It looks like the Bulgarians now see the threat of coronavirus in a new relaxed way. This is a sign of the society’s experience of living with the virus and counting on personal responsibility. It will now become clear if the society is mature enough. The conclusions are based on face-to-face research conducted between 02nd July and 10th July 2020 among 806 people.

Despite the higher percent of positive tests last month, the Bulgarians are now perceiving the situation more calmly compared to the previous months. In July, 35% choose the response “Covid-19 is a big threat” but 46% are closer to the opinion that “Covid-19 is like the flu and it is not that dangerous”. The rest are doubting.

The society has probably already adjusted to the threat – it seem that it is more familiar now.

The results clearly underline the generational differences – among the elderly there is a prevailing respect before the virus while among the younger people the relaxed opinion is more widespread.

Yet, more people continue to accept the official statement regarding the coronavirus – considering the pair that has recently become emblematic, 47% support Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, while 28% support Atanas Mangarov. It looks like the support for Mangarov stems from representatives of parties in the opposition, e.g. the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Slavi Trifonov.

49% support the work of the National Operational Headquarters for fight with Coronavirus pandemic compared to 34% who do not support it. Considering the social attitudes towards the virus in the last weeks, this support for the actions of the headquarters is a matter of protocol. It is obvious that the Bulgarians are now relying to higher extent on their personal responsibility.

In this context, the attitude towards possible (self-imposed) limits was measured. The highest share of the respondents agrees to attend less restaurants and shopping centers, while decreasing the time spent with friends meets the least support from the respondents.

Naturally, this is due to the living standard which, especially in the case of the elderly, does not benefit going to shopping centers and restaurants. There is also a certain declarative tone to be taken into account when considering the responses – especially regarding shopping centers and restaurants.

It is interesting that working remotely meets significant support – 47% would not mind working from home more often, while 32% have found arguments against this setting.

There is no substantial support for remote education. The society is cautious and 46% are against, while 28% support it. There are as much as 26% who cannot decide.

Here again is obvious the generational difference regarding the acceptance of change. And maybe a substantial number of parents would not want their children staying at home.

The data is part of the monthly research programme of “Gallup International”. The poll was conducted face-to-face between 02 and 10 July 2020 across a sample of 806 people and is representative for the population of Bulgaria aged 18+. The maximum standard deviation is ±3.5% at 50% shares. 1 per cent of the sample equals about 55,000 people.


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